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Re: GDB on Mac is (NOT) Broken

From: Nick Roberts
Subject: Re: GDB on Mac is (NOT) Broken
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 09:17:11 +1300

 > Any idea why/how M-x gdb got into such a state that core emacs developers
 > are saying things like ``it's such a complete mess that reporting all the
 > bugs is a depressingly huge job''?  I have easy access to a macosx machine
 > with gdb; maybe I can help.

It's just Miles, I think, and I've no idea why he would choose to make such
remarks.  Perhaps you should ask him.  I don't think they are directed at the
Mac platform but, sure, any help will be gratefully received.

There are many people who like the "gdb-ui thingy" but perhaps they are not as
vocal as those who become unstuck.  However, I can make some suggestions that
could make the use of GDB in Emacs easier:

1) Read the documentation in the Emacs manual (M-x gud-gdb is described on the
eighth line of "Starting GUD".)

2) If you want to use GDB in Emacs in earnest, use a *released* version of

3) If you want to help with the development of GDB in Emacs, use the CVS
version of Emacs.

4) For a while the CVS version of Emacs used an interface called GDB/MI.  This
gave less reliable behaviour but is still a long term goal.  That may have
caused some frustration.

5) If you try, I'm sure you can get the GDB Graphical Interface to do the
wrong thing, like display the source in the wrong buffer, or worse.  Emacs is
so customisable/flexible that it's hard to do the right things in all cases.
It works fine for me when I'm careful about window configuration.  I use
'gdb-restore-windows' quite often.

6) Many poeple appear to use gdb-many-windows but I prefer not to and start
just with the GUD buffer.  The source appears when I hit a breakpoint and
I then just display the associated buffers, e.g., stack buffer, that I need in
a separate frame (from the menu-bar).

7) M-x gud-gdb is more reliable because it's more basic.  You get to see the
source but not much more.  You even have to remember where the breakpoints are.

I hope these comments are more helpful than some of the recent ones.  Please
do make bug reports but they need to be concise and provide a recipe to
reproduce the problem (see "Reporting Bugs" in the Emacs manual).

Nick                                           http://users.snap.net.nz/~nickrob

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